If you happen to be Tom Hanks or Robinson Crusoe you will probably think that an island is a solitary place, detached, separated and isolated from the rest of humanity.
Sometimes this type of island, if accompanied by 5 stars can provide a unique opportunity for some introverted reflection away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a quiet haven to recharge the batteries away from the distractions caused by human interaction and potential conflict caused by opinionated outbursts.
However, continued separation from the rest of humanity can have a negative effect on the human soul and that is why many 5 star island goers end up packing their bags after two weeks and head back to their chosen metropolis ready for another few months of adrenaline packed human interaction. It is pretty clear that no man is an island but is it possible that a kitchen can be!
The attributes of the kitchen island are polarised to that of its geographical counterpart as it discourages detachments acting as a magnet, drawing the household together and providing a unique opportunity to practice an age old tradition which helped to mould the society in which we live today, talking!
The modern kitchen island can be described as a functional rock to which the inhabitants of a household are tethered, congregating for sustenance at regular intervals amid the storm of 21st century living.
An island allows us to become detached from the surrounding architecture, look each other in the eye and enjoy one another’s company. We no longer need to face the wall while cooking or preparing a meal, turning our backs on conversation and avoiding the type of natural sociability that was first found at the campfires of our ancestors.
A kitchen island presents a unique opportunity to enhance the functional performance of a kitchen allowing walking distances to be shortened and allowing workflow patterns to be specifically tailored to each and every client.
An island can become a functional bridge merging practical performance and functional efficiently while encouraging social exchange between the individuals who occupy the space. A kitchen island is architecturally liberated, free to probe the outer reaches of the floor space it occupies and because of this it can be seen as a medium for artistic and functional expression.
Client and designer can engage in the freehanded creation of something quite unique, something that can only be described as a personal and functional art installation for the home. By introducing a complex mix of materials, geometry and lighting an island can provide functional flexibility and design continuity to any architectural space.
In the modern home the kitchen island now sits centre stage, inviting social interaction and artistic adoration while expressing its whispered influence onto everything surrounding it. The island is now the focus of our open plan living spaces with integrated technology allowing it to serve many purposes beyond its primary focus. The island can create un-formal architectural division, breaking a space into zones without ever introducing walls!
It now seems clear that the kitchen island, or islands, help to define the modern kitchen with taller cabinetry elements being absorbed into the surrounding architecture and designers and owners expressing themselves in new and interesting ways.
Can you imagine your next kitchen without one?